A Guide to Chinese Language School Selection

Choosing the language school where you’ll study Higher Chinese is a huge decision. The time it will take you to learn Chinese will probably be between one and six months, so choosing the correct school is crucial.

There are hundreds of language schools in China (and Taiwan), although not all of them are as good as the others. I’ve attended six Chinese schools in four different places throughout the years and talked to scores of other students about their experiences. In this article, I’ll explain how to pick a Chinese language school that is ideal for you and your requirements.

How to Pick the Best Chinese Language Institute

Here are eleven things to consider while selecting a Chinese language school.

Dialects and Accents

The accent is the first thing to consider while selecting a Chinese language school.

Taiwanese and mainland Chinese accents make up the two main varieties of Mandarin. With pronounced distinctions in pronunciation and subtle variances in tones, vocabulary, and syntax, the parallels and differences between the two are somewhat akin to those between American and British English.

School Size

How many students typically enrol during the period you’re thinking about? More classes are probably offered at larger Chinese language schools. Finding a start date can make it simpler for you to switch classes if your current one is going too slowly or too quickly or if you don’t like the teacher. Additionally, you can get in touch with other Chinese students through their extensive alum network.

Schools with branches in multiple cities allow you to continue your Chinese studies without changing the curriculum if you choose to divide your time between them.

For instance, you can learn for a few weeks in Beijing, continue in Shanghai, and conclude in Suzhou at the significant chain school, That’s Mandarin. A fantastic option to continue your education while seeing more of the world.

Despite the benefits of bigger institutions, I prefer the warm, welcoming atmosphere and highly individualised care that a small school provides. Students who attend small schools frequently outperform those who participate in large schools on linguistic indicators like HSK levels and scores. Small Chinese language schools tend to have a more student-centred approach to instruction.

Additionally, small schools foster close-knit communities. Seeing familiar faces everywhere you go makes it possible to form lifelong friendships with teachers and other students. Large schools also offer these chances, but they are less accessible.

 

Course Choices

You must also identify your specific goals for studying Chinese to resolve the conundrum of “how to choose a Chinese language school.”

Suppose all you care about is Chinese academic learning. In that case, you can go practically any place because all of the institutions will provide a “general” course that is generally separated into six competency levels (HSK 1 to HSK 6), as suggested by the Chinese Language Council International (commonly known as Hanban).

For those who want to apply for a Mandarin-based programme in Chinese institutions, the HSK exam, which is required, some schools may also provide specialised preparation classes.

You might look for institutions that provide conversation courses based on Pinyin where you can skip all the Chinese characters and concentrate on dialogue if you merely want to speak Chinese. But, of course, the busy foreign workers in China who take this kind find it particularly appealing.

Or, if your Chinese is at an intermediate level, you can choose to enrol in a specialised course (around HSK 3 to HSK 4). Business Chinese, for instance, can encompass assistance with job searching

Find a school that can provide you with the kind of course you want after determining your aim.

Teaching Techniques

The school’s teaching approach is the next consideration when picking a Chinese language school. Let me explain the details.

  • Teacher Qualifications
  • Teaching Philosophy
  • Instructional Style

 

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